When her husband is assaulted in broad daylight, a woman must fight to uncover his secrets in Daly’s (The Trophy Child, 2017, etc.) domestic thriller.
Jane Campbell prides herself on her equanimity even as she also recognizes that she will do almost anything to avoid face-to-face conflict. She’s not someone who actively seizes her dreams, as evidenced by the fact that she teaches creative writing instead of fighting to publish her own book. Her husband, Leon, in contrast, is not only a successful crime novelist, but also a strong personality who doesn’t turn away from a fight. One afternoon, as they prepare to pull out of the driveway with their two children in the car, Jane goes inside to fetch something. When she returns several minutes later, Leon has been brutally attacked. Most of the novel follows Jane’s struggles as she works to support Leon, who is in a medically induced coma; keep her children safe; and make enough money to keep them all afloat. For as she begins digging into her husband’s life, she finds out that he’s been lying to her about his writing and about their finances. Perhaps the list of suspects is longer than at first it appears—and maybe Leon was even having mental problems before his brain surgery. This is an evenly paced thriller; Daly delivers just enough clues and twists, a little bit at a time, to keep the reader guessing. It’s easy to relate to Jane; her general passiveness leads to few character surprises, but she firmly gains and keeps our sympathy, unlike many more unreliable narrators who pepper domestic suspense novels these days. After the shocking beginning, Jane’s dogged pursuit of the truth keeps the novel grounded.
A satisfyingly original thriller.